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What's that? Uh -- Playoffs? You Talk About -- Playoffs?

   Apparently, there's a playoff game at the Orange Bowl on Saturday night between FIU and FAU. Don Fauhelmet Fiuhelmet Shula Bowl VI is a "playoff" for FAU as it needs to beat FIU to have something to play for next week at Troy.

Now before anyone brands Owls linebacker Cergile Sincere as the next Jim Mora. The Owls senior makes  a valid point when he said earlier this week: "That’s what’s been in the air the whole week – Mora_3 [FIU] is trying to end our season and make their season, because they know what’s at stake. They know that if they beat us, we’ll be out of it. But as a team, as FAU, we’re going in there to take care of business. We’re taking it as a business. It’s no fun and games. I mean, it is the Shula Bowl, but it’s the playoffs. This is the game setting up the Super Bowl. So if you wanna make it to the Super Bowl, you’ve got to make it out of the playoffs."

As former Indianapolis Colts coach Mora said in his infamous rant: "What's that? Uh -- Playoffs? Don't talk about -- playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!"

If FAU (4-1 in Sun Belt) wins tommorrow, then next Saturday at Troy (6-0 in SBC) is for the conference championship and a trip to the New Orleans Bowl.

The Golden Panthers can ruin the Owls' travel plans, if they continue to produce on offense like they have in the last three Sun Belt games they've played. FAU has one of the best offenses in the conference. The least amount of points the Owls have scored in a Sun Belt game this season was in their season-opening win against Middle Tennessee 27-14.

So the onus for this one will be placed on the FIU defense, especially the secondary which will have to stop QB Rusty Smith and a physical corps of receivers. Only two teams have thrown for more than 300 yards on FIU's defense this season: Penn State and Kansas. But that stat may be a bit skewed, because the Golden Panthers have had a tough time stopping the run.

The good news is FAU's defense is giving up 35 points per game in Sun Belt games so like last week's game it could be another offensive show.

Spock Logically, the GPP sees this game as FAU 30-17, but I've seen a livelier atmosphere this week at FIU's practices. So we're going to throw Spock's logic out the window on this one. Could FIU's increased enthusiasm at practices this week have been due to the Thanksgiving week joy? Maybe. But here's taking a shot that the Golden Panthers are ready to snap the skid and in a big way by denying their rivals a chance at the Sun Belt crown.

GPP thinks: FIU 27, FAU 26

PANTHER PAWSE

While this has nothing to do with Saturday's game, I found this Howard Schnellenberger quote interesting. Earlier this week, HS was asked whether MC will be more competition than Don Strock when it comes to recruiting:

"We don't know yet. They were behind schedule last year. [Cristobal] will have his coaches spend a lot more time down here than Don (Strock) did."

alt7787: You are correct on your Google reference.

fiugrad78: We'll put up a baseball recruit list in the next blog. There is definitely a noticeable difference in the excitement for FIU baseball this season. The only negative about all the new good recruits is that not all of them will wear an FIU uniform, because some will be drafted by Major League Baseball. But that's part of the recruiting game and at least TT is not afraid to go after those guys.

NY Panther: More cowbell and more cowgirls!! Fsuc Cowb_3

UltimateFIUFan: There is no radio deal with FIU men's hoops this season. Games can be heard on the FIU student radio station 95.3 FM. Will check on your Panther Pass question. Your welcome on FIU hoops.

Messod: Sorry to hear about the 25-degree temps in NC. It's a comfortable 72 with a gentle breeze and clear skies down here.

paradox: We've had a picture on the GPP's left rail of a Miami Herald FIU sportswriter since its inception. The GPP appreciates all the ladies that read our blog. Thank you.

Cobra cobracommandr: Welcome to the GPP. Your rookie posts have been as impressive as Adrian Peterson this season until he went down with a knee injury. Keep it going!Ap AP will be back next week and hopefully so will you!

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FIU 27 - fau 37

38-21 FAU...Schnell pulls it out and wins the Sun Belt, next stop, New Orleans. Winning the sunbelt does put you in the title game doesnt it?

37-20 Owls.

FIU 31 FAU 28

FIU 21 FAU 35

Thanks for the shout out Pete, that image always captures my good side.

As far as predictions...

FIU : 27(They always miss an XP!) - FAU : 24

Thats the number that comes to me but I wouldn't doubt if the end zones at the OB see a lot of action this weekend FAU and FIU allow 35 and 39 pts per game respectively.

Tough order for the Panthers but I have to think(hope?) that the opportunity to break the streak and at the same time spoil the "play off" hopes of FAU in the next to last game in the OB will put the fear of Mini-Ditka in the GP's.

What better way to start a true rivalry?

Rivalry's already there, Cobra. FAU's won a lot more, but the games have been close in most all of them. And, by the way... where's GI Joe?

I see the temps all the time, Pete. I know very well how warm it is down there. I tell all y'all... heaven is NOT having to scrape ice off your car windows at 4 in the morning just so you can go to work. On the positive side, at least I'm working out more than normal. Especially at 4 in the morning. ;)

That is an interesting Schnelly quote, Pete. It's about time FIU started wading into Owl territory to get some guys. Nothing against North Florida, but I think we spent way too much time getting players from there. Gotta focus more south of Orlando... maybe get some out-of-staters and Florida west coasters if we can. There's plenty of good football in the South other than in South Florida or North Florida. And North Carolina's a damn good spot for players, too. The quality of HS games isn't as good as in Miami, but there's plenty of players I've seen on teams here that I think would be pretty good in an FIU uniform. Especially a couple of real strong-legged kickers.

Recruit anywhere... play anyone... win every time. I don't think RAPAWET is as good as TDAOS, but that's the mentality we need 'round these parts. I'll be VERY interested in how Mario and Co. do in recruiting... once the LOI's are in, that is.

ESPN mentioned last night that Darren McFadden's chances at a Heisman are hurt by poor rushing performances against opponents like Florida International where he was held to 66 yards. Any time ESPN mentiones FIU, it is a positive. Now lets go for the victory tonight against FAU at the OB.

GO FIU!!!

Messod, I like the RAPAWET! Although it rhymes with Chia-Pet, well it's a start. There is great HS football in FL, TX & CA, however as you stated the focus as to be South of Orlando. You can't sell FIU on winning yet, however 1) "you'll play as a true freshman", 2) "you'll play in front of your family and friends and 3) "your class CAN BE the catalyst of change, in helping FIU "WIN EVERY TIME"". That would be the "WET" in your RAPAWET! Your thoughts; stay warm my brother!

GO FIU!!!

I have a question. Any idea whether high school teams will continue to play in the new FIU stadium?

Tonight's game was horrible, but lets give credit where credit is due, HS is a fox and he took MC to school tonight. I wish them luck next week and I hope they beat Troy.
If anyone saw the broadcasting, it was lousy, they took the cameras off the field for about 15 minutes during the 3rd quarter to interview Shula and talk about ancient history. they stopped calling the plays and commenting in the game. I know DS was great and yadiyada rarara... but that was dead air.
Now on the game, I liked the way McCall handled the offense. I think he is more mature and better passer than the other two, maybe he should be the qb and younger a wr. I hope we can beat NT next week. we are the two worst teams in the college football and I hope they can take that title back to TX with them next week. I think PM will lead our team to a win next week.

I don't know what to say anymore. This FIU team looks like a bad high school team out there. The excuses are endless, especially that they are young....fine, I get it but, being young doesn't excuse you from executing the most basic of football requirements like AVOIDING STUPID PENALTIES!!! I learned that in Pop Warner League, for God's Sake!! UGGGHHH!! Sometimes I really think MC is way over his head. But, I have faith in you MC, get this thing turned quick!!

RAPAWET? Chia Pet?

Oh brother... forget I even mentioned it. I'll leave the cute acronyms to Senor Pelegrin from now on. As for the cold... good think Goodwill sells really good and cheap coats. Thanks for the thoughts. :)

What a bad loss. This is getting pathetic. It's one thing to lose by 30 to a Kansas or Penn State... but to MT and FAU? Unacceptable. Period. I guess FIU's still paying for their sins and will be for a while to come.

Had the chance to get Schnelly early on... we get Strock instead.

Didn't think twice on jumping to IA when we couldn't even get a winning season in IAA... I think we should have stayed at least until we fielded a winner.

Didn't think twice on jumping to IA despite the lack of a real stadium... I think this wonderful stadium we're getting should've been done at least 5 years ago.

Didn't think twice on jumping to IA despite not having the proper resources in marketing, fanbase, or for the players...

... and most importantly, having people in charge who either couldn't grasp the situation or couldn't stop this train from wrecking.

We're heading straight to being the Temple of this decade... if we're not there already.

Granted, FAU has issues, too... the stadium in particular... but there's no question that Schnelly guided these guys the right way (mostly). No one's going to convince me that FAU is inherently better than FIU... same talent pool, same basic area. The difference? FAU got someone who knew what he was doing and the admin gave him what he needed. FIU got someone who didn't know what he was doing and didn't give the program the support they needed.

Here's hoping MC and PG can guide us through this storm without too many more rough seas ahead.

MC and Co. get the pass for this season... or should, anyway... but I sure hope he's not in over his head like TNGP says. You sure gotta wonder it with some of these games this year. This coaching staff has taken lumps all year long.

The part which makes me wonder the most is the insistence on starting some of the true and redshirt freshman over the more experienced guys... especially Younger over McCall. I know WY's been the main sparkplug on O, but I just don't see a QB in him. McCall didn't do too shabby last night. Granted, it was in garbage time, but I'd like to see him start next week regardless of the status of WY's injury. We've seen what he can do. Now let's see what McCall can do. I get the feeling it'll be Anderson under center against NT, though.

Anyway... let's hope we beat NT next week. I don't want us to try busting the streak in our new Cage next year against USF. Give the fans some hope, for the love of God.

Oh my....oh well...a very deflating loss for sure. Just to state the facts...18 out of the 22 starters were recruited by Strock, with Younger being the only redshirt freshman recruited by Strock to start.

I do hope they give McCall more time, at least to start, sinced he did so well, although, as Messod stated, mostly in "garbage" time.

Guys, we are at "Rock Bottom"! You are seeing the results of a FORMER adm's and coaching staff ineptitude passed down to a rookie coach. But as anyone who hits rock bottom, the only way to go is up. Good recruiting, good recruiting, good recruiting has to be the main theme for MC. Taking his MEGA lumps this year, I hope prepares him for his future success because he couldn't have inherited a worse situation that he currently has! With all this disgusting play we must have PATIENCE!

GOOD LUCK SR AND THE MEN’S HOOPS TEAM MONDAY NIGHT AGAINST USF!

GO FIU!!!

Not much to say after the end of the second quarter...

Just a kick in the kishkies really.

I must say the Band was in rare form, they managed to keep me somewhat distracted from the slaughter going on between the sidelines.

I will agree that Paul McCall was the better of the replacements. Colt looked scared to let the ball go.

I was at the game last night and I can't believe HOW FAR BEHIND WE ARE. It is sad, we are so unviable right now in south florida sports. We are as pathetic as UM, and that is pretty pathetic. FAU looked bigger, stronger, faster and if THEY played UM they would have beaten them. Also, why hasn't McCall been given a shot at the starting job? I know that Coach M wants to run the spread but if McCall gives us the best chance to win then why not have him under center?

Bottom line, Coach S gave Coach M an education.

Lets make it a point to be there tonight to see FIU's men hoops team take on USF. This is an important game to see where we are against more legit competition.

GO FIU!!!

Hmmm Younger is injured, will not start against Div 1A powerhouse North Texas. Although I'd like to see Colt get the playing time, I think McCall gives us the best shot at winning this Saturday.

They few times we've seen Colt, he's been very jittery. McCall is only a sophmore who hasn't seen much action regardless. So don't bring the "Freshman" lack of experience bolagna, if anything Colt was a stud in high school and should have a pretty solid understanding of things.

FF, II, UU.....FIU!!!!!!

Hey SouthPaw - tell us why we should take anything you post from this point on serious. Tell us why you are not a jack ass. Tellus why we should think you know anything about college football, or sports in general. As my evidence as to why you know nothing, your posts are a joke and you are a jackass - I repost the following message created by you:

Here's my predictions for this weekend:
FIU 24 FAU 16
Boston College 56 UM 6
I know it's a stretch, but yes, I do believe the 'Canes will score against BC --two field goals, though, not a touchdown.
Posted by: SouthPaw | November 21, 2007 at 02:58 PM

Well, FIU got smoked, and you picked them to win, and you picked BC to blow out Miami and Miami wouldn't even score a touchdown. Hmmm, I think I've proven my point.

Ultimate FIU:
It's time to stop blaming last years coaching staff for this years mess. This is a horribly coached and ill prepared football team. Cristobal is a lemon.

Hey Hugh, Jimmy Johnson inherited a very poor and "talent challenged" Cowboy team. His first year he went 1-15. Furthermore, if you search the archives of the Dallas Morning news of the time, he was called far worse than a lemon (mind you, Jimmy had a NC in college @ Miami!). However Jerry Jones had patience. Jimmy was a master of the draft and Minnesota sold its future for Herschel Walker and rest is history.

In my opinion, it’s too early to judge MC. However, you can evaluate Strock's tenure because it is now history. The facts are he took a talented senior loaded team (at one point 4 FIUers in the NFL) and went 0-12 when he was predicted to be at or near the top of the Sun Belt. The MAJORITY of High School coaches in the area have stated that Strock and staff were PASSIVE / NON-EXISTANT in recruiting one of the HOTTEST HS football talent pools in the country. That translates to being LAZY!

None of us know whether MC is the answer. All we can have is opinions on whether MC will succeed, however you would be blind or seriously fooling yourself if you didn't think Strock last two-three years were a sham! I personally consider this year, YEAR #1 for FIU Football. We are starting over from a NUKED program left by Strock & Co. I support MC because he deserves a chance. Given time, if he doesn't turn it around then I would agree with you, but for know I believe in PATIENCE! Not easy to see your team fail, however I am sticking to it.

GO FIU!!!

Hey UFF, I am glad to see that, for KNOW you believe in patience. I believe the term you were looking for there is "now." Stop questioning my spelling, phrasing, and improper gramatical posts unless you are prepared to accept the same criticizm.

CC for once, you got me! My bad.

GO FIU!!!

lol damn i missed my score and am outta the running ... o well. i was at the game... at 14 nothing.. the team just gave up and when younger was out.. the offense seemed a bit flat.. mccall brought some sort of buzz (i was sitting w/ his frat bro's) but its still not about the team for FIU students.. that is sad and until it is aboutFIU, FIU will never be successful.

Call me psycho, but does anyone else think that FIU would be better suited with a different offensive scheme completely. Maybe something what Nebraska used to run where they are going out of the option 95 percent of the time. That way, we would be recruiting a completely different type of football player from UM, FAU, and Fl State. And on D - lets go big, real big. Let those other Fla schools ahve the speedy guys, lets get 300+ pound d linemen and just win the battle up front all day. I think radical moves like this are warranted considering FIU is about to go 0 for the last two seasons. So to recap. We no longer recruit the fast athletes on defense, we get big strong guys and try to out muscle everyone and on offense, we dont recruit athletes, we recruit players to fit our new option offense. Who's in?

FIUDad, time for your medication.

GO FIU!!!

FIUDad has lots of ideas...but I can't agree with that one. FIU needs that Florida speed if they want to compete. For some reason, that really made me laugh.

GO FIU!!!

FIU vs USF! Men's Hoops tonight @ 7pm @ Pharmed!

GO FIU!!!

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